Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

Big Meat Thinks Pork and Beef are Healthier Than Broccoli

Official recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released last week include reducing "consumption of red and processed meats." Needless to say, the meat industry is pushing back, claiming that meat should be "in the center of America's plate," and attempting to discredit the committee members who linked meat production to environmental impacts and poor health. [Munchies]

Water, Air Quality Concerns Heighten Conflict Between Pig Farms and Environmental Advocate

Many communities exposed to pollution from large pork facilities are reaching the end of their rope. US pork is a growing industry, but most pigs are raised in factory farms that produce tons of manure and run-off. According the EPA, due to agricultural run-off, over half of America's freshwater is too polluted for use. As a result, many pork farms are being targeted with lawsuits.

Sushi Safety: Mercury Levels in Ahi Tuna are Rising

If you love sushi, be careful about how much yellowfin (or ahi) tuna you eat. The concentrations of mercury in ahi tuna are increasing by 3.8 percent or more per year, and scientists say anyone consuming ahi tuna or other mercury-rich fish on a weekly basis is at risk for excessive mercury poisoning. Try eel, crab or salmon as an alternative. [Shape]

Chicken Industry Acts More like Ostriches

After a "top producer" working for Perdue chicken released footage of his farm last month, revealing poor living conditions that are marketed to consumers as "humanely-raised" and 'cage-free," Perdue and Big Ag's "Center for Food Integrity" spokespeople launched a counterattack attempting to discredit the footage and the farmer. Consumers responded by imploring supermarkets to carry better chicken, suggesting the trust in Big Ag companies is on the decline. [Food Safety News]

Report: Farming and Urban Growth Are Polluting America's Aquifers

A comprehensive report by US Geological Survey found that more than 20 percent of groundwater wells tested were polluted and surpassed federal health standards. Increased aquifer pollution is due to the increase in land turned into farms and urbanized areas, which "is a concern for the future because the restoration of groundwater supplies that have become contaminated is difficult, is costly, and can take decades." [Circle of Blue]

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